White Sox

Buehrle vs. Sale: White Sox past, present aces face off Monday


Buehrle vs. Sale: White Sox past, present aces face off Monday

Not only will Chris Sale go for an MLB record Monday night, he’ll do so while squaring off against South Side favorite and 2005 World Series champion Mark Buehrle.

Robin Ventura & Co. Sale an extra day of rest — he was originally scheduled to start Sunday's series finale against Baltimore — and, as an unintended consequence, set up a showdown between the current and former White Sox aces (7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

“It should be fun,” Ventura said. “It should be fast, too.”

Only a handful of current White Sox players played with Buehrle during his decorated 12-year tenure at U.S. Cellular Field. Among them is John Danks, who debuted in 2007 and witnessed Buehrle throw a no-hitter and a perfect game, as well as the first of his four consecutive gold glove awards (2009-2012).

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While Danks is close with Buehrle, he wasn’t exactly wishing him well when the 36-year-old takes the mound at 35th and Shields on Monday.

“I hope we beat up on Mark and get a win,” Danks laughed. “(He and Sale) are two of my best friends in the world so it’d be good to see Mark, but really once the game starts I hope we are able to beat up on him and get a win.”

Even with a fastball averaging just under 84 miles per hour — down about three miles per hour from 2005, when he won 16 games and a World Series ring — Buehrle’s ERA sits at a solid 3.64 and he leads the American League with three complete games. He’s one win away from having at least 10 for the 15th consecutive season, and needs to throw 93 2/3 innings over 14 more starts to reach the 200-inning, 30-start marks he’s had every year since 2001.

“(All those) years in a row of the 200, 30 and 10, he’s a Hall of Famer in my book,” Danks said. “I’m a little biased. But it’d be good to see him. Just hope he doesn’t throw real well against us.”

Over his dozen years with the White Sox, Buehrle won 161 games with a 3.83 ERA, made four All-Star Games and won three Gold Gloves. He didn’t do it in a flashy fashion like Sale, who with 10 or more strikeouts against Toronto would become the first pitcher in baseball history to have double-digit strikeouts in nine consecutive starts during a season.

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Buehrle was effective in other ways, though, by spotting his pitches well, changing speeds and working fast.

“Love the guy,” pitching coach Don Cooper, who worked with Buehrle from 2002-2011, said. “He made me a world champion.

“… When you see a guy go 200 innings for four, five years, let alone 15, you are a stallion, you are a stud no matter what style you are. As a pitching coach, as a manager, when you know you can pencil a guy in there for six to seven innings every start and at the end of the year you’re getting 200, that’s such a valuable commodity knowing that spot is more than locked down.”

“… But our guy (Sale), he’s really, really good, really talented, probably the most talented guy I’ve had, thinking back on it. And he’s got four years under his belt and he’s got some time to go to reach where Buehrle is.”

The White Sox turned Comerica Park into a Home Run Derby in Saturday's win

The White Sox turned Comerica Park into a Home Run Derby in Saturday's win

Chicks dug the White Sox on Saturday.

The South Siders hit four home runs in their 8-3 dismantling of the Tigers at Comerica Park. Tim Anderson stayed red-hot with a pair of long balls, Jose Abreu went deep in addition to his pair of doubles, and Daniel Palka made some interesting history with his long ball (see below).

We'll let our stat guru Chris Kamka take it from here.

Since their 10-29 start the White Sox are a respectable 6-4. Days at the plate like Saturday sure help.

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

For over two years, Charlie Tilson was starting to look like his own version of "Moonlight" Graham, the player made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams" because he played in one major league game and never got to bat.

The White Sox traded for Tilson just before the trade deadline passed in 2016. Two days later he made his big league debut with the White Sox in Detroit. He got a single in his first at-bat, but left the game with an injury and missed the rest of the season. Tilson also missed all of the 2017 season and his MLB future was starting to come into question.

Back healthy, Tilson started this season in Triple-A Charlotte and hit .248 in 39 games when he got called up to replace Leury Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list. On Thursday, Tilson returned to a big league field for the first time in more than 20 months. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Baltimore.

Friday marked a return to the site of Tilson's big league debut and the injury that made it such a brief stint. Tilson has now played three big league games, over the course of nearly 21 months, and two of them have been in Detroit.

Tilson went 1-for-4, meaning both his hits are in Comerica Park. The White Sox lost 5-4 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the eighth.